Internships are a fantastic way to gain experience and get your foot in the door with many game design companies. Talk to your academic advisor about applying for internships. Additionally, check the websites of your favorite game design companies for information on internship opportunities.
International Game Developers Association - The IGDA is the largest non-profit membership organization serving individuals that create video games. Their site has many useful elements including wikis and a special student/academic relations section.
Gamasutra.com - A site dedicated to "The Art & Business of Making Games." It contains the latest industry news, job postings, a resume submission service, and links to some of the top companies in the business.
Gamecareerguide.org - The careers section on this site provides a unique perspective on careers in game development by profiling individuals active within the industry today. Their community section allows you to interact with both industry insiders and fellow prospective gaming professionals. You can also download and play games created by fellow students.
GameJobHunter.com - This site provides a comprehensive list of job openings within the gaming industry.
Building a Portfolio - This article offers portfolio advice for gaming professionals. Portfolios allow you to build an industry reputation and promote yourself to prospective employers.
Conferences are an excellent way to stay up to date with the current trends in the gaming industry. They also provide considerable networking opportunities within the industry. Often times companies send recruiters to attract future game developers. Here are some conferences from around the country:
Game Developers Conference - The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is yearly 5-day industry event. The GDC is attended by programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business leaders and others involved in the development of interactive games to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.
Christian Game Developers Conference - The Christian Game Developers Conference is the only gathering with the purpose of encouraging game developers, in both software and traditional mediums, to apply Christian principles to their industry.
GAMEON-NA - The aim of the annual North American Game-On Conference, held each summer, is to bring together academics, researchers and games from North America in order to exchange ideas on higher-level concepts that contribute to the field of computer gaming research.
Finally, a complete list of gaming-related conventions can be found on Wikipedia.
Creating a video game is an enormous project that requires the cooperation of hundreds of individuals with various skills and professional functions. Understanding where your strengths and interests fit in is one of the keys to a successful career in game development. Below is a list of some of the departments and professional titles you might typically see within a video game development company.
User Interface (UI) Designer
Art and Animation
Sound Effects Designer
Head of Development
Licensing/ Intellectual Property Right (IPR) Manager